Newcomers and new members often have a hard time connecting with others at UCV. The hardest time is when they leave the service and enter the Hall room. They find themselves amongst a large group who seem to know one another…really well. It’s overwhelming. Even intimidating. So several of us asked ourselves, “What can we do?” And came up with the idea of creating a Sermon Discussion group.
Tamiko Suzuki thought it might create a friendly, casual environment where these new folks could sit with others and converse…introduce themselves … and talk about that morning’s sermon. A shared experience. Well, she was absolutely right.
We held the SD for several months and it was a real success. Those who attend are newcomers, new members and regulars. We averaged ten participants – the Sermon Groupies.
Sessions were moderated by a facilitator. “The discussions are thoughtful, insightful and dynamic,” said one new member. Another regular added, “This really enriches the potential Sunday experience.” One of the facilitators thanked everyone “for sharing in a meaningful discussion”. And another new member who comes frequently said, “it was a good discussion. I have been impressed so far with the depth and quality of communication in these sessions.”
There was a need to connect. The Sermon Discussions found one way to address that need. The group met weekly after services in the Priestley room from noon – 1:15.
Now the experiment is over having fulfilled the mission of connecting many people and helping them make new connections.
The Connect & Engage Team has now gone on to other initiaties.